Longevity News & Review
By Dr. Robert Goldman
For The Bali Times
Longevity News and Review provides readers with the latest information in breakthroughs pertaining to the extension of the healthy human lifespan. These news summaries are compiled by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; www.worldhealth.net), a non-profit medical society composed of 22,000 physician and scientist members from 105 nations, united in a mission to advance biomedical technologies to detect, prevent and treat aging related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimize the human aging process. Dr. Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., A4M President, and Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their commentary.
$33.9bn Spent in US on Alternative Medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a term that describes a wide range of natural, non-drug health approaches that are outside the scope of conventional medicine. Approximately 38 percent of American adults use some form of CAM for health and wellness, or to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. In the US, from mid-2009 to mid-2010, American paid $33.9 billion out-of-pocket for CAM therapies Of this total sum, the $14.8 billion spent on non-vitamin, non-mineral, natural products is equivalent to approximately 1/3 of the total out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs; and the $11.9 billion spent on CAM practitioner visits is equivalent to 1/4 of total out-of-pocket spending on physician visits.
Dr. Klatz observes: The US public has voted with their wallets in favour of complementary and alternative medicine therapies, which offer gentle, nontoxic approaches to maintain wellness and enhance quality of life. Clearly, this spending also demonstrates the dissatisfaction with conventional medicine, which is disease-based and treats only after disease becomes symptomatic and problematic.
Brain Exercise May Delay Memory Decline
In that early life education and participation in cognitively stimulating leisure activities later in life are two factors thought to reflect cognitive reserve, which may delay the onset of the memory decline in the preclinical stages of dementia, Charles Hall, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York), and colleagues studied 488 cognitively healthy men and women, following their habits in engaging in cognitively stimulating leisure activities and charting the onset of accelerated memory decline. The team found that for each additional activity day spent reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles, playing board or card games, engaging in group discussions or playing a musical instrument, older individuals who eventually developed dementia delayed the onset of accelerated memory decline by more than two months.
Remarks Dr. Goldman: The brain is a muscle, and demonstrates the characteristic of being neuroplastic, in that its connections are malleable. This study confirms the intuitive presumption that as a malleable muscle, daily engagement in mentally challenging activities beneficially impacts the brain and exerts a protective mechanism to ward off memory decline.
Dementia More Common in Middle-Aged People Who Smoke
Health issues in mid-life contribute to increased risk of dementia later in life. A research team from Universities of Minnesota and North Carolina, along Johns Hopkins and University of Mississippi Medical Center studied 11,000 people ages 46 to 70, and found that current smokers were 70 percent more likely than those who had never smoked to develop dementia, people with high blood pressure were 60 percent more likely than those without high blood pressure and people with diabetes were more than twice as likely than those without diabetes to develop it. State the researchers: “Our results emphasize the importance of early lifestyle modification and risk factor treatment to prevent dementia.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: More than 26 million people worldwide were estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent form of dementia, in 2006; by 2050, AD will afflict more than 106 million people. This study sheds light on risk factors that can be beneficially modified and slash our risk for developing the debilitating and burdensome disease.
Anti-aging medicine is the fastest-growing medical specialty throughout the world and is founded on the application of advanced scientific and medical technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders, and diseases. It is a healthcare model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy lifespan in humans. As such, anti-aging medicine is based on solid scientific principles of responsible medical care that are consistent with those applied in other preventive health specialties. The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion.
Visit the A4M’s World Health Network website, at www.worldhealth.net, to learn more about the A4M and its educational endeavours and to sign-up for your FREE subscription to The Anti-Aging News Journal.